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Nowhere Boy (2009)

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A chronicle of John Lennon's first years, focused mainly in his adolescence and his relationship with his stern aunt Mimi, who raised him, and his absentee mother Julia, who re-entered his life at a crucial moment in his young life.


(as Sam Taylor-Wood)


4,801 ( 1,727)
Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 6 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
John (as Aaron Johnson)
Marie's Friend
Angela Walsh ...
James Johnson ...
Alex Ambrose ...
Abby Greenhalgh ...
Jackie (aged 6)


The story of John Lennon's childhood and teenage years from 1944 to 1960, his relationship with his aunt Mimi and his mother Julia -the two dominant women in the first part of his life-, his first meeting with Paul McCartney and George Harrison, their friendship, their love for music and the birth of The Beatles. Written by CynthiaPowell

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


As a boy all John Lennon needed was love. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

15 October 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi nombre es John Lennon  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£148,157 (UK) (27 December 2009)


$1,445,366 (USA) (5 December 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Thomas Brodie-Sangster had to learn to play guitar left-handed for his role of Paul McCartney. See more »


John Lennon had brown eyes not blue. See more »


John: Why do you know so much?I mean you don't seem like the rock and roll kind of guy
Paul McCartney: What you mean because I don't go around smashing things up and
Paul McCartney: acting like a dick?
John: Yea
Paul McCartney: No.It's the music.That's it,just music.Simple
See more »


Referenced in Maltin on Movies: Barney's Version (2011) See more »


If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake
Performed by Gracie Fields
Written by Al Hoffman, Bob Merrill, Clem Watts
Published by EMI Music Publishing Limited/Al Hoffman Songs, Inc./Golden Bell Songs
Licensed courtesy of Decca Music Group Ltd
Under license from Universal Music Operations Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Unsentimental but still artful biopic of the early Lennon
27 December 2009 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

Sam Taylor-Wood's story of the adolescent John Lennon is an entertaining and occasionally touching film. I enjoyed it for the story of a young lad belligerently (and often fearfully) confronting the inevitable revelation of his past and constructing some sort of future. Taylor-Wood has consciously avoided any direct reference to the man that we all knew John Lennon would become, although there are implicit signposts placed in the visual narrative. Instead, his part in creating The Beatles assumed, the director concentrates on the (far from) simple facts of his coming of age, acquaintance with music and with real panache, the social climate in which this all came about.

The central narrative concerns the ying and yang relationships that John has with his aunt Mimi and rediscovered mother Julia. It is hard to imagine how these three parts would be better played than by you're-not- fooling-anyone-ice-queen Kristin Scott-Thomas and the effervescent life- force of Anne Marie Duff (respsectively). There's some fine screen acting going on here. Yet the tortured break with a prosaic, echt- English aunt and the intense, Oedipal love for a irresistible mother would be nothing without the right John - and where Aaron Johnson's been, I've no idea. His great ability is to trip off endless social anachronisms, turns of phrase that would seem un-PC, ill-advised or simply too cheeky today with a body language to suggest that he has no idea of the ramifications or combativeness of such an attitude. This is what makes the rock-n-roll, about to burst from the back of the screen (like the Third Reich in Haneke's White Ribbon) so palpable, so believable.

A good film, told, briskly and with rich nuance. 7/10

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